Andy Hawkes discusses key topics and trends in that we’ll see in the short- to medium-term in health and safety.
Mental health management
As the taboos around mental health are being broken down we will see more employee focus on mental health, partly due to peer pressure and, at last, a recognition that mental health impacts a business.
Employee burnout is real, and so is the fallout for a business. When it happens, employees experience higher rates of absenteeism, presenteeism and stress-related health issues and employee turnover. On the other hand, reduced mental health issues leads to employees who are more engaged, which promotes ideation and innovation in the workplace
Wellness is becoming the buzzword of CEOs
Among leaders of the largest global organisations wellness is the key employee message. Wellness drives success, and cautious CEOs are careful to ensure that employees are happy, productive and healthy. Here’s some of the ways wellness can be promoted:
- Encourage social wellness with team activities and collaboration
- Using meetings and gatherings to create a purpose-driven workplace by emphasising a company’s mission
- Showing employees that you care about them with regular conversation and understanding that societal issues is key to a wellness approach
Many of your employees feel the need to be “there” for those who are suffering, and that’s a good thing! A culture of compassion and empathy can be invaluable. But it’s also important to recognize that, at times, the emotional weight felt by those who like to serve as your workplace’s emotional pillars can become too much for anyone.
Compassion fatigue was once more commonly seen among healthcare professionals, but it’s becoming a greater issue within the general population. So what can be done to help your employees who are serving this vital need at a business?
- Remind employees to be watchful of denial (for example, recognizing if someone simply repeats, “I’m fine” when asked how he or she is doing)
- Encourage your employees to talk to human resources team when feeling overwhelmed
- Promote healthy at-work habits in the form of snacks, exercise and social activities.
Access to financial wellness programs continues to increase, with 84 percent of companies providing them, such as debt management tools or student loan counselling. Financial stress is one of the biggest stress triggers for employees, but there are plenty of ways you can help. An effective financial wellness program should include hosting financial experts, providing educational materials and promoting retirement planning.
The rise in popularity of wellness programs has led to a similar increase in strategy around healthcare and wellness. Increasingly, employers are analysing the healthcare and employee benefits plans they offer. Heading into next year, pull data and collect feedback on your current offerings to determine:
- Which health conditions are most commonly affecting your employees to make sure your plan covers them? Make adjustments based on what you find
- What levels of participation are you seeing in your programmes and offerings? For the ones that are under-utilized, research and document ideas for ways you can increase employee participation
Looking for support with your health and safety or wellbeing programmes? We can provide a range of services from software to safety consultation that can assist you in making your employees’ lives happier and healthier. Email [email protected] or call 020 7469 0200 for more information.